Liberal Democrats calls for new Climate Emergency Communities Fund

19th October 202

South Lanarkshire Liberal Democrat Group Leader Councillor Robert Brown has backed a call for a new Climate Emergency Communities Fund to prepare and protect people across Scotland affected by extreme weather including flooding.

The demand was the next instalment of new Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton’s plan New Hope for the Climate Emergency and comes as a report from the UK Environment Agency warns that adapting to the “inevitable impacts” of the climate emergency is necessary to save lives.  

The fund could be worth £75 million extra per year to communities – doubling the Scottish Government’s existing commitment to flooding and coastal erosion.

In January, research by the party revealed that just 7 of the 42 flood protection schemes identified by SEPA for delivery between 2016 and 2021 had been finished. Despite that, there was no mention of flooding or announcement of new help for communities affected by the climate emergency in the SNP/Green Coalition’s Programme for Government last month.


Robert Brown said:

“The climate emergency is a real threat to all of us. And it is time the Scottish Government started treating it as such. Our infrastructure was not made to withstand the current and future repercussions of climate change, the proposed Climate Emergency Communities Fund would give everyone the means to keep their homes, businesses and other buildings safe.

In Rutherglen, we see the increasing effects of climate change in unusually excessive rainfall, overflowing drainage infrastructure and localised flooding. We badly need an upgrading of much of the Victorian sewerage systems to be able to cope. This infrastructure never designed to cope with the extreme weather we get today.

As we look towards COP26, the Green/SNP government needs to do far more to support local communities tackle the effects of climate change which is already upon us."

Mr Cole-Hamilton commented:

“I’ve set out radical plans designed to prevent catastrophic climate change and move Scotland over to net zero as soon as possible. However, there is no hiding that there are communities across the country already being battered by the effects of climate change. Flooding events which I was told were a once in a thousand year events when I was first elected now happen every year.

There are countless communities across Scotland that look up at the sky with dread in the knowledge of what heavy rain might bring.

When you look at what’s already happening from Australia to Greenland, Scotland is getting off comparatively lightly. But it doesn’t feel like that when your home or fields get flooded.

It is why I’m proposing a new Climate Emergency Communities Fund with the clear objective of upgrading Scotland’s homes, businesses and infrastructure to cope with the impact of the climate emergency which are already taking their toll, and the worse that we know is still to come.

Communities should be in charge of this. Funding to boost preparedness should be able to cover whatever will work locally and include extra investment in nature-based solutions, from planting trees to installing living roofs that can soak up the rain.”


Notes to editors:

It is estimated that 284,000 homes and premises are already at risk of flooding in Scotland, with an additional 110,000 properties at risk by the 2080.

The Environment Agency report can be found here.

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